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Death toll in NW China restaurant blast climbs to 8


15:41, November 14, 2011

XI'AN, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- The death toll has climbed to eight following an explosion at a restaurant on Monday morning in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi province, after the body of a woman was found in the debris.

Firefighters found the body at midday in the debris of the fast food restaurant, located on the first floor of Jiatian International Mansion, a commercial building in outer Gaoxin district, the Xi'an municipal government said in a press release.

Seven deaths were reported at two hospitals, Gaoxin Hospital and the provincial People's Hospital, it said.

It also said authorities have yet to identify the dead.

Meanwhile, of the 31 people who were injured in the explosion, seven were in critical condition, the municipal health bureau said.

The explosion, which was caused by a liquefied petroleum gas leak, happened around 7:40 a.m.

The blast shattered windows in nearby buildings, blew away a bus stop sign and destroyed several cars parked in the neighborhood, according to a firefighter at the scene.

The firefighter said most of the victims were pedestrians walking near the building, including children who were on their way to school.

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